10 ways to make money as a blogger if your blog isn’t paying the bills

5 min read
Ashley Grant

You know that itchy feeling you get after you work at something in hopes it will yield riches, and then it doesn’t — at least not right away — and you want to scream? You get itchy not because you want to quit but because you want to pay your bills. If you’re a blogger, you know that until you get a post to go crazy viral and bring you millions of views, you can’t expect a huge payday from advertisers.

So, if you find yourself in that itchy phase, first consult a doctor to ensure it’s not a real itch. Then, get down to the business of figuring out other ways to make money as a blogger. You’re here because you want some cheddar — and we’re about to get really cheesy ‘round these parts.

1. Email marketing

If you’re smart you’ve started growing an email list — and that list means you have potential income opportunity. Think about what product or service you could sell to your email subscribers. Whether it’s your own product or someone else’s for which you get a cut of every sale, you’ve got a chance to get paid.

2. Freelance writing gigs

Now, before you tell me you’re not a writer, take a look at the number of posts you’ve written on your blog. If you’ve formed coherent thoughts into complete sentences, you’re a writer my friend. Maybe not a good one, but a writer nonetheless. With the decent portfolio your blog posts comprise, you can find yourself some freelance writing gigs — becoming a ghost blogger like me or pitching magazine, newspaper and website editors to write content for their outlets with your own byline.

3. Podcasting

If you have a strong speaking voice and think you could reach a broader audience, podcasting might be a good fit for you. While some people believe that it’s just as hard to build a podcast following as it is to build a blog following, others believe podcasting is more appealing in our fast-paced society because no one takes the time to read anymore. Speaking of speaking…

4. Speaking gigs

Depending on your message and your blog’s niche, you could start making money from speaking at various engagements. Say you’ve got a knack to describing how to build the best chicken coops; you might just be able to land a speaking gig at a farming conference.

Note: In lieu of cash, some speakers are paid with tickets and hotel reservations for the conferences or expos they’re participating in. That’s as good as cash to me, baby. Am I alone in that? Leave me a comment and let me know.

5. Consulting

As a blogger you have set yourself up as an expert in your chosen field. You could become a consultant on your area of expertise. You might even looking into consulting about blogging (although if you’re not making any money at it, you might want to give that potential income stream a pass until you are). Of course, some topics are more profitable than others, but if you’re interested in giving one-on-one advice there might be someone out there willing to pay you for your time.

6. Teaching programs

If speaking at events and one-on-one consulting aren’t your cup of tea, but you still want to get paid to teach what you know, consider creating an online course via sites like Udemy, Ruzuku and MindBites.

7. Live workshops

You also can blend the in-person training of consulting with the group coaching of an online training program to create live workshops. Walk your students through every step of what you know LIVE! Bonus points if you get an outside sponsor to help subsidize your costs. You get more bonus points if you film everything that happens at the event and then sell the digital sessions. Ah, multiple levels of income potential from one event — it’s a beautiful thing!

8. Books

Develop a large enough knowledge base and you’ve got the opportunity to organize and distribute your knowledge in book form. Thanks to the joy of online publishing platforms like Kindle, CreateSpace, Lulu and others, you don’t even need a publisher. You could also sell your book as a PDF downloadable directly from your website. Of course, you’ll use your blog to promote the books you create.

9. Youtube

People love watching videos, so why not leverage YouTube to make a little cash? You could simply read your posts to your viewers, tell your viewers about your posts, or show what you are writing about. For example, if you have a cake decorating blog you could create videos of you decorating cakes. Craft blog? Create short how-to clips. When you have enough source material, edit the clips into a full-length video that you can sell.

10. Land a swanky 9-to-5

Perhaps the skills you have learned from running your blog make you a perfect candidate for a new “real job.” Your blog might be the ideal resume. Should you choose to go back to the dark side 9-to-5 world, you could keep building your blog on the side while bringing in a steady paycheck. If that’s how you want to roll, more power to you!

What are your favorite ways to make indirect blogging income? Please share because we’re all looking for additional revenue streams!